OK I’ve taken to buying books for my nieces and nephew for Christmas. Because, my siblings, lord love them, will buy their spawn every possible toy but would never willingly spend money on a book that isn’t necessary for school. So yep I’m the Aunt-who-only-gives-books.
Well his first words were “touch down”. No I’m not making that up.
He’s being groomed as the next great hope of the sports world. He’s quite smart when he doesn’t think anyone is paying attention. I’ve given him The New Way Things Work, *Where The Red Fern Grows * and The Bridge to Terabithia and he enjoyed them all. His mother only cares that the books are awards winners. So I’m trying to get something weird and interesting.
I came in here to suggest The New Way Things Work, but I see you’ve already got that one. My 10 year old wants some of the Ripley’s books - he’s fascinated by them. I was also going to suggest Captain Underpants, but that’s more for the 9 - 10 set than a 12 year old.
Actually, a medical related book that may not be quite so scary, and still fascinating reading, is Olver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. It may be a bit tough reading for a 12 yo, but on the other hand it doesn’t sound that advanced over the other medical book you’ve got selected. Another medical book that I remember as being a good, and fairly easy, read was Virus X - Tracking the New Killer Plagues, by Frank Ryan. While the topic is intellectually frightening, the author doesn’t sensationalize them, presenting the history of several modern viral outbreaks as mysteries to be solved.
While I can see why you’d be a little uncertain about your selection, my gut reaction is to go with it. At that age I was reading Edward Rowe Snow, and Moby Dick. Listening to and indulging a child’s own interests at a serious level is rarely a mistake, IMNSHO.
Well, as another aunt who tends to buy too many books, I say just keep the nephew’s preferences in mind and go with it. My niece is 11 and really isn’t a big “sit down and read” type person, but if I get her horror books, she’s all over them. So I find stuff like R.L. Stine and the like for her. (I can’t wait until she’s old enough for Stephen King, heh heh heh! Don’t think her mom would appreciate that yet though.)
Now if anyone knows about books on electronics for a 15-year-old, tell me about those!
I’ll second Gary Paulson – my son liked his books when he was 10 - 12. Also, Nick liked the Lynn Reid Banks series starting with The Indian in the Cupboard and all of Elvira Woodruff’s books – especially Awfully Short For the Fourth Grade (about a kid who shrinks down to the size of his action figures) and its sequel. He also enjoyed historical novels: Johnny Tremain was a favorite, also all of G. Clifton Wisler’s books. One he really loved was Ghost Cadet by Elaine Marie Alphin – that one is about the VMI cadets killed at the battle of New Market during the Civil War. For classics, Nick liked all of Edward Eager’s books, and he absolutely adored the Great Brain books by John Dennis Fitzgerald. Nick is 18 now (going in the Navy in 11 days!), but I remember these particular books because he loved them so much he wanted his own copies (except for the Eager and Fitzgerald books, which I already owned) and kept them. He still rereads them all once in a while.
Collected Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, Samuel Clemens- Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings,
some good books on Norse, Roman & Greek mythology (maybe Bulfinch’s Mythology as an intro)- oh, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales, Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle
Also, if you can find it- a compassionate & medically interesting book on people with physical abnormalities- VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE
Thank you all for your suggestions!! His parents aren’t readers so it’s kinda weird. She thought *The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe * was pagan when I gave him a graphic novel of it years ago. :rolleyes: